Lockdown Learning and beyond: Things to help your Key Stage one child with their home schooling.

Updated: Jun 27, 2020

As we're all now deeply immersed in lockdown and finding many different ways to keep ourselves and our families entertained, fed and fit; there are currently a number of families that are now having to take on the role of a teacher in order to help their child with school work at home.


I have to say I genuinely applaud your efforts. I know it's not easy. When I first started tutoring I often felt an immense feeling of insecurity in my abilities and doubted myself as an educator and mentor. Some of you may be feeling this right now. Even as a parent, who has a daughter now in university, I still remember the fear when she asked me the inevitable question;


"Mum, can you help me with my homework?"

This was me, at times! I used to inwardly take one look at her school work and felt dizzy with all of the technical jargon... It all seemed like gobbledygook to me!


Eventually I learnt that, it gets easier and if you do a bit of homework yourself, you may be able to understand some the 'lingo' used in schools when your child is beginning to learn key stage one grammar terms in their literacy lessons and more importantly, you can use it when helping them in their home learning.



Remember, knowledge is power and your confidence can stem from understanding what some of these literacy terms mean. So, here are some of the basics in English grammar that most Key Stage one pupils will have been learning in school and how you can perhaps use it at home to help your child through this strange time that we're in and beyond.


As you may know, most Key Stage one children will begin to start learning the key subjects in grammar from Year 1, through to Year 3.


These usually consist of learning verbs, nouns (proper and common) and adjectives. If you gain some knowledge in how they work, you can use them with your child through word games and generally how they work in the world of literacy. More importantly it may help to put a bit of fun into these things for you and your child and demonstrate that you're an ace teacher and you can really boss this!


So...? Here goes!


A verb (v): A verb is a word that demonstrates action or movement. It is a 'doing word'. Eg: jumping, kicking or to glide.

Jump into the air with a verb!

Nouns: Generally nouns are places, people or things.When starting to look at these, children are often given two types to become familiar with. These are common nouns or proper nouns.


So what's the difference I hear you cry? Well, a common noun are things that we use everyday; Eg: a pen, a book, the table. You don't need to use capital letters when you write them, whereas a proper noun needs capital letters as they are the most amazing things, places and people; just like you.


They deserve and need to be written with a capital letter, so your name (in my case that will be Steph); or places such as London, or even the cute and adorable kids programme on tv; Peppa Pig, they all need to be acknowledged with capital letters. https://www.peppapig.co.uk/



Now over to you!


How you can use it in home learning:


Get your child to choose a picture, footage from a cartoon or even a film and then get them to write or talk about all the verbs, common nouns and proper nouns to describe what they're seeing. Then, get them to list and write a sentence about it. They could use a whiteboard, writing in chalk in the garden or they could even paint pictures to describe.


An example of how it can be done is as follows:


Look at the picture below of a dog:


We can write to demonstrate an understanding of what we've learnt using a colour code (see below), so that it makes it easier to see our work in action:


Colour code: verbs in red and (v) Nouns in green and common nouns being (cn), with proper nouns being (pn).


*Adjectives (adj) in orange. (Used later on).


So then our sentence now comes to life and so does the dog!


When Barnaby (pn) the dog (cn) barked (v) his tongue (cn) was flapping (v).

The coloured parts of the sentence can be written in felt pens, painted or in crayon; anything to get your child's creative juices working and have some fun with it.


Now before we start thinking about how to get the lovely Barnaby to come to life a bit more on the page, we need to get to grips with how adjectives work. Note: I've made my *adjectives in orange (adj) for short on my colour code.


Adjectives (adj): These are words to describe a noun; whether it's a common or proper one. It's important to note that an adjective can come before the noun or after it to give the sentence a more concise description of someone or something. Eg: The beautiful (adj) Eiffel Tower (pn) or The Eiffel Tower (pn) is beautiful (adj).


Let's go back to Barnaby...


We've already learnt that Barnaby has a flapping tongue and likes to bark, so how can we give him a bit more of a personality? If we add some adjectives (adj) to the sentences, it can demonstrate that he's a dog you will love!


Barnaby was a cute, funny dog who loved to bark and his tail would also wag to show he was happy when his owner gave him a toy to play with. His tongue often flapped around when he was hungry for his dinner. He was a friendly dog who had shiny, golden, brown fur and a small little nose.


Note: I've not put the initials in to describe the grammar, just colour coded it as it gives it a flow because the sentence is slightly longer. Also remember that colours are great adjectives, but be careful not to use too many of them in a sentence as it can be a bit too much, so get your child to explore using others.

So now we have a sea of colours that demonstrates our understanding of verbs, nouns and adjectives which is all colour coded depending on what grammar we're using.


A challenge: How about getting your child to say what each coloured part of their sentence is; I've tried it and very quickly became really tongue tied! I bet they can do better than me!


So, there you go. Perhaps explore using this method with them using their favourite song, nursery rhyme or poem.